Saturday, October 4, 2008

A full cast of gods or heroes

Christians worked so hard for centuries to eradicate all that evil polytheism, but meanwhile they invented a full cast of saints, angels, and Biblical characters.

The modern, not particularly religious people have their characters too -- superheroes, game characters, actors, athletes.

It seems to be a part of human nature to create a cast of legendary characters. I think it's okay if religion does this. This goes back to my recent post on not taking things too literally. Religion addresses that which cannot be contained by our finite, concrete world. We have to make the ideas concrete so we can relate to them, and one way of making them concrete is to make up a cast of characters. It's good as long as we remember they are just pointers to what is beyond. If we start thinking that the characters are the gods themselves, then we have become corrupted into idolatry.

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